BSO: 2 steal copper wire from Cooper City churches

Shawn Loschiavo, Tanya Yurke arrested

COOPER CITY, Fla. - Broward Sheriff's Office arrested two people accused of stealing copper wire from churches in Cooper City, police said Thursday.

The Church of God, 9191 Stirling Rd., was their first stop. Within a month, police said they targeted The United Pentecostal Church, 5201 S. Flamingo Rd., twice. They also stole from the Potential Church, 12401 Stirling Rd., and the Christ the Rock Community Church, 11000 Stirling Rd.

About 4 a.m. Wednesday, detectives found Shawn Loschiavo, 28, and Tanya Yurke, 30, at Christ the Rock Community Church. According to police, there was hundreds of feet of copper wiring in the back of the car that they had just stolen from electrical boxes at the Cooper Office Center, 10620 Griffin Rd.

"They would pry open the tops [of the electrical boxes] and cut the wires from each end and then actually pull the wire out through the piping in the ground," said BSO Sgt. Sam Cavalieri. "One time he was actually electrocuted and hurt."

Loschiavo and Yurke told police that they were selling the metal at scrap yards. They each face seven counts of grand theft, third-degree felonies.

"They are narcotic users and they are desperate for money, so they take desperate measures," said Cavalieri.

Copper wire can be sold for $1 to $1.70 a pound.

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.